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Vaccine alliance warns extra doses to expire soon – pleads for release to speed up rollout

Vaccine Alliance CEO issues warning about expiry dates

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The CEO of the GAVI Vaccine Alliance has warned of a shortage of vaccinations for developing countries. Seth Berkley told ITV’s Robert Peston that coronavirus jabs have been bought en masse by high-income countries and many are at risk of expiring. On Wednesday, UN human rights experts called on the world’s largest economies to help ensure that the world’s poorest nations had access to jabs to prevent the spread of COVID-19 worldwide.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is co-leading Covax, the programme which aims to provide access to coronavirus vaccinations around the world. 

Seth Berkley said that so many vaccines being purchased by countries who had placed large orders early in the pandemic risked disrupting the global supply chain.

He added that worldwide immunisation would be needed to stop the spread of COVID-19.

He told Robert Peston: “We’ve just finished a fundraising effort where we’ve raised $9.6 billion.”

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He said that the effort was intended to “purchase COVID-19 vaccines for developing countries.”

He added: “The challenge right now is that there are no doses to buy.

“The reason that’s true is because many of the high-income countries went ahead and bought a lot of doses not knowing which ones were going to work. 

“The challenge then is to release those doses now before frankly, they end up going bad.

“And use those to protect others in the world so that we can stop these variants and stop the pandemic.”

The BBC reported this week that over 2 billion coronavirus vaccines have been given in 190 countries.

Joe Biden is planning on purchasing 500 million vaccine doses to supply to over 100 countries, according to reports by the New York Times and Washington Post.

The jabs would be distributed via Covax to developing nations.

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The US President will discuss the issue with world leaders at the G7 summit in Cornwall this week.

Boris Johnson is expected to lay out his plan to reach worldwide vaccination against COVID-19 by the end of 2022.

Britain has ordered over 400 million vaccine doses since the start of the pandemic.

For a population of almost 70 million, this would be enough to deliver two doses to the entire population with 120 million to spare. 
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